I love to eat. So does my wife. Maybe that’s why our favorite type of vacation is a cruise. All the meals are included! Our perfect date night would be an extended meal at a restaurant in Seattle. Our favorite family gatherings also include food. Come to think of it – pretty much any event with people and food sounds like a good time.
I picked up a book the other day called A Meal With Jesus by Tim Chester. My love of food attracted me to the title. Throughout the book Chester explains the role meals played in the ministry of Jesus. He points out that in the New Testament, the phrase “The Son of Man came…” is completed in three different ways.
Mark 10:45 says, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Luke 19:10 says, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Both of these verses have to do with WHY Jesus came. The third way the phrase is completed has to do with HOW Jesus came. Luke 7:34 says, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’”
Apparently, Jesus ate and drank a lot – enough to be called a drunk and a glutton! The Gospel of Luke is filled with stories of Jesus eating with people. These stories can be found in chapters 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 19, 22 and 24. Robert Karris, author of the book Eating Your Way Through Luke’s Gospel, concludes that in the Gospel of Luke, “Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.”
Food played a big part in the ministry of Jesus. He viewed meals as an opportunity to connect with people and to talk about God and life. There are many ways for Christians today to get involved in ministry and impact people for Jesus. At times, however, it can be confusing to figure out what it means and looks like to live out our faith in the 21st Century. But as Jesus shows us, ministry isn’t rocket science. We don’t have to know all the right answers. Ministry can be as simple as inviting someone to dinner and sharing a meal with them. Food and people. Sounds like a good time to me.
Senior Associate Pastor – Redmond Campus